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Late last night, Amtrak train 188, operating from Washington DC to New York, derailed just north of Philadelphia. 238 passengers and 5 crew members were on board, and the accident resulted in a still-unknown number of injuries and fatalities. Our thoughts go out to the passengers and their families.

Following the derailment, Amtrak service is suspended between New York and Philadelphia — all trains from Washington will terminate in Philadelphia and all trains from Boston will terminate in New York. If you’re traveling through the Northeast Corridor on Amtrak over the next few days, there’s a good chance you’ll run into cancellations or delays. It’s unclear when service will resume, so if the accident affects your travel plans, you’ll likely need to look for other options.

If you’re traveling between Boston or New York and Philadelphia and can’t drive or fly, you may use your Amtrak ticket on New Jersey Transit, connecting to a Trenton-bound train at New York Penn Station, or a Penn Station-bound train at Trenton. While not ideal, bus options are available between Trenton and Philadelphia (SEPTA service is also suspended), and you can connect to another Amtrak train in Philadelphia if you’re headed to DC or in New York to get to Boston.

Amtrak's Acela Express operates between New York and DC.
Amtrak’s Acela Express operates between New York and DC.

Of course, for travel between DC and Boston or New York, a last-minute flight booked with Avios would normally be a great option, but with limited rail service, nonstop award availability is virtually non-existent until the weekend. Direct flights between New York – LaGuardia or JFK and Washington – Reagan National Airport (DCA) are expensive, but if you’re low on cash this could be a good opportunity to use your credit card’s pay with points option. For example, if you book flights on American or US Airways through the Citi ThankYou Travel Center, you’ll get 1.6 cents per point in value, allowing you to snag a $400 one-way flight for 25,000 ThankYou points.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

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